Don’t go running to mummy just yet: the spooky movements of this Egyptian statue probably have a logical explanation, even if museum curators are in de-Nile about it.
Staff at the Manchester Museum in Manchester, England say the 4,000-year-old statue, recovered from a mummy’s tomb, has been spinning without anybody moving it, NDTV reports.
The 10-inch tall statue of a man named Neb-Senu was originally an offering to the god Osiris and has been in the museum for 80 years.
Up until a few weeks ago, the statue had appeared to be stationary.
“I noticed one day that it had turned around,” curator Campbell Price, 29, told NDTV. “I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key.”
Price told the Sun this week that “most Egyptologists are not superstitious people,”and said when he first noticed the object had moved, his first instinct was to wonder who moved it.
“But the next time I looked, it was facing in another direction — and a day later had yet another orientation,” he told the Sun this week.
Price returned the statue to its original position and set up a time-lapse video, which he says shows the statue moving without the help of humans.
According to Price, “ancient Egyptians believed that statuettes such as these could act as an alternative home for the spirits of the people they represented, should the body be damaged or destroyed.”
Nevertheless, even the Egyptians didn’t expect these statues to move on their own.
TV physicist Brian Cox thinks he might have a scientific explanation for the spooky movement, according to the Daily Mail: differential friction.
“Cox suggested that two surfaces, the serpentine stone of the statuette and glass shelf it is on, cause a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn,” Price told the Daily Mail.
Cox’s theory is supported by the fact that in the video, the statue appears to only be moving when visitors are in the museum.
Price, however, is skeptical of this theory, since the statuette has been on the same surface for 80 years and has never moved before.
Maybe the mummy’s curse will actually be a blessing for the museum, as Price urges the public to visit and try to figure out the mystery for themselves.